Considering what there is to look forward to in Bahia and elsewhere in the Northeast, most visitors heading northward from Vitória choose not to linger on Espírito Santo’s northern coast. Indeed, the BR-101 remains far from the shore, never offering a glimpse of the ocean, and apart from the Serra do Mar far off to the west, this entire area is low-lying with a mix of cattle pasture and immense eucalyptus plantations as well as, nearer to the shore, mangrove swamps, patches of Mata Atlântica and beaches fringed with shrubs or wind-stunted coconut palms. The area does hold a few attractions, however. Coastal villages such as tiny Regência and Itaúnas remain fundamentally fishing communities, preserving traditions that have been gradually lost elsewhere, while a visit to the Reserva Natural da Vale do Rio Doce is a must for amateur naturalists.

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